EMMERGENCE OF POLITICS IN BANGLADESH
Since Bangladesh won its independence from West Pakistan in 1971 after a bloody war of liberation, the AL and the BNP have dominated the country’s politics. The AL, led by Sheik Mujibar Rehman, was the first political party officially to govern the new Republic of Bangladesh in 1973. Under Sheik Mujibar, democratic rule quickly turned authoritarian. On 25 March 1982 a military coup occurred under the leadership of General Hussein Muhammad Ershad. General Ershad suspended the constitution and officially named Islam the state religion. Thus political Islam entered into the mainstream Bangladeshi political system. Since 1990, Bangladesh has been a parliamentary democracy with a separate judiciary and an active civil society, yet it remains only a “partly free” country. Although a democracy, Bangladesh faces challenges central to a successful working democratic system: freedom of expression and political opposition. The media is active but it is not “free”: journalists feel threatened by political and religious opposition. With the rise of radical Islam in Bangladesh, these democratic practices will become more difficult to obtain, as radical Islamists equate the very idea of democracy with heresy.
POLITICAL HISTORY IN BANGLADESH
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:
Through a nine month long war of independence against the then West Pakistan, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the leader of the movement in 1971, became the first president of independent Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujib was also the leader of the Awami League (AL) political party, which is still one of the major political parties in Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujib went on an all out effort to reconstruct the war ravaged country. The first constitution of Bangladesh was prepared under the Mujib regime in 1972 considering nationalism, socialism, democracy, and secularism as the state principles. In August 1975, Mujib, and most of his family members, were assassinated by a group of military officers. The daughter of Sheikh Mujib, Sheikh Hasina, escaped the attack as she was in Germany at that time. Pakistan. Millions of Bangladeshis sacrificed their lives for the freedom of their motherland. The Birth of Bangladesh/Sheikh Mujib (1971-75). Bangladesh emerged as an independent state at the end of 1971.
Ziaur Rahman (1977-81):
General Ershad (1982-91):
First BNP Government of Begum Khaleda Zia(1991-1996):
After the 1991 election, BNP under Begum Khaleda Zia as the Prime Minister formed the government with the support of Jamaat –e-Islami, another leading political party in Bangladesh. Both the BNP and the Awami League worked together in parliament, and a constitutional amendment was passed reintroducing the parliamentary form of government. During the Khaleda Zia government notable progress was achieved in the field of education through the introduction of free and compulsory primary education and adoption of food for education program, among other things.
Caretaker Government, October 2006-January 2009:
The 13th Amendment to the constitution required the president to offer the position of the Chief Adviser to the immediate past Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice K.M. Hasan, once and the previous parliamentary session expired on October 28, 2006. The AL opposed Justice Hasan, alleging that he belonged to the ruling BNP in the past and that the BNP government in 2004 amended the constitution to extend the retirement age for the Supreme Court judges to ensure Justice Hasan became the Chief Adviser to help BNP win the elections. Justice Hasan declined the position, and after two days of violent protests, President Iajuddin Ahmed also assumed the role of Chief Adviser to the caretaker.
On January 3, 2007, the Awami League announced it would boycott the January 22 parliamentary
On January 11, 2007, President Iajuddin Ahmed declared a state of emergency, resigned as Chief Adviser, and indefinitely postponed parliamentary elections.
On January 12, 2007, former Bangladesh Bank governor Fakhruddin Ahmed was sworn in as the new Chief Adviser, and ten new advisers (ministers) were appointed. Under emergency provisions, the government suspended certain fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution and detained a large number of politicians and others on suspicion of involvement in corruption and other crimes. In January 2008, a reshuffle of the caretaker government took place, which included the appointment of special assistants to help oversee the functioning of the administration.
Awami League/Sheikh Hasina (2009 – present):
On December 29, 2008 Bangladesh held its general election. The two main parties in the election were the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia were freed by the high court before the elections and were able to once again lead their parties. The Awami League and its coalition won in a landslide victory winning 263 of 300 parliamentary seats. Although Khaleda Zia rejected the results, both Bangladeshi and international observers reported that the election process and results.
Present Political Condition of Bangladesh:
Despite serious problems related to a dysfunctional political system, weak governance, and pervasive corruption, Bangladesh remains one of the few democracies in the Muslim world. Bangladeshis regard democracy as an important legacy of their bloody war for independence, and they vote in large numbers. However, democratic institutions and practices remain weak.
Bangladesh is generally a force for moderation in international forums, and it is also a long-time leader in international peacekeeping operations. It is the second-largest contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, with 10,481 troops and police active in November 2009. Its activities in international organizations, with other governments, and with its regional partners to promote human rights, democracy, and free markets are coordinated and high-profile.
Political Instability in BD
Political Instability indicates the conflict between the political parties attitude. There is no continuity of stable policy of politics for giving an stable environment for all kinds of development. One politics party consider the another political party as a enemy. They always think about their party development rather than the country development. On the other hand, now many political party leader of Bangladesh became corrupted person. They use the party platform for their own purpose. Political conflict in Bangladesh has led to corruption, poverty and severe problems in the educational system. The country is facing increasing instability. A political power vacuum is being filled by radical Islamists, posing a threat to the secular-democratic system. But the situation is not irredeemable. The article argues that Bangladeshis can work with foreign powers to bring about much-needed political reform. All kinds of development is being vanish for political Instability. Destructive works gradually taking place in the country for poor politics. Every potential sector like Education, Business, Industries, Social Development, Morale Development, Sports, Defense, Economic Development, Brotherhood ness, Media sector, Human right, Country Administration, are now being threatened by political Instability. We have to come out from this destructive political culture.
The Continuity of Political Instability
In December 1983, he assumed the presidency. Over the ensuing months, Ershad sought a formula for elections while dealing with potential threats to public order.
In January 1, 1986, full political rights, including the right to hold large public rallies, were restored. At the same time, the Jatiyo (People's) Party (JP), designed as Ershad's political vehicle for the transition from martial law, was established. Ershad resigned as chief of army staff, retired from military service, and was elected president in October 1986. (Both the BNP and the AL refused to put up an opposing candidate.)
In July 1987, the opposition parties united for the first time in opposition to government policies. Ershad declared a state of emergency in November, dissolved parliament in December, and scheduled new parliamentary elections for March 1988.
All major opposition parties refused to participate. Ershad's party won 251 of the 300 seats; three other political parties which did participate, as well as a number of independent candidates, shared the remaining seats. This parliament passed a large number of legislative bills, including a controversial amendment making Islam the state religion.
By mid-1990, opposition to Ershad's rule had escalated. November and December 1990 were marked by general strikes, increased campus protests, public rallies, and a general disintegration of law and order. Ershad resigned in December 1990.
On February 27, 1991, an interim government oversaw what may be one of the most free and fair elections in the nation's history. The center-right Bangladesh Nationalist Party won a plurality of seats and formed a coalition government with the Islamic fundamentalist party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).
The new Prime Minister, Begum Khaleda Zia, was the widow of the assassinated former president Ziaur Rahman. Before the death of her husband in 1981, her participation in politics was minimal. She joined the BNP in 1982 and became chairman of the party in 1984.
In September 1991, the electorate approved changes to the constitution, formally creating a parliamentary system and returning governing power to the office of the prime minister, as in Bangladesh's original constitution. In October 1991, members of parliament elected a new head of state, President Abdur Rahman Biswas.
Opposition legislators resigned en masse in December 1994, trying to force Khaleda to step down and allow early elections under a neutral caretaker administration. She refused and the opposition staged a series of strikes and shutdowns which economists say have slowed reforms and the pace of economic recovery. President Abdur Rahman Biswas dissolved parliament in November 1995 and called new elections for February 1996. He asked Khaleda Zia to stay in office until a successor was chosen. The opposition parties vowed to not to take part in the elections while Khaleda remained in office and boycotted the elections They said the elections had been rigged to ensure the BNP a landslide victory. They staged a series of crippling strikes and transport blockades, trying to force Khaleda to annul the election and transfer power to a neutral caret
Mujibur Rahman came to office with immense personal popularity but had difficulty quickly transforming this support into political legitimacy. The 1972 constitution created a strong prime minister ship, an independent judiciary, and a unicameral legislature on a modified British model. More importantly, it enunciated as state policy the Awami League's four basic principles–nationalism, secularism, socialism, and democracy.
The Awami League won a massive majority in the first parliamentary elections in March 1973. It continued as a mass movement, espousing the cause that brought Bangladesh into being and representing disparate and often incoherent elements under the banner of Bangla nationalism. No other political party in Bangladesh's early years was able to duplicate or challenge its broad-based appeal, membership, or organizational strength.
The new government focused on relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of the country's war-ravaged economy and society. Economic conditions remained tenuous, however, and food and health difficulties continued to be endemic. In 1974, Mujib proclaimed a state of emergency and amended the constitution to limit the powers of the legislative and judicial branches, establish an executive presidency, and institute a one-party system. Calling these changes the "Second Revolution," Mujib assumed the presidency. All political parties were dissolved except for a single new party, the Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL), which all members of parliament were obliged to join.
Implementation of promised political reforms was slow, and Mujib increasingly was criticized. In August 1975, he was assassinated by mid-level army officers, and a new government, headed by a former associate, Khandakar Moshtaque, was formed. Successive military coups occurred on November 3 and 7, resulting in the emergence of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ziaur Rahman (Zia), as strongman. He pledged the army's support to the civilian government headed by the president, Chief Justice Sayem. Acting at Zia's behest, Sayem then promulgated martial law, naming him Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA).
Ziaur Rahman was elected for a 5-year term as president in 1978. His government removed the remaining restrictions on political parties and encouraged opposition parties to participate in the pending parliamentary elections. More than 30 parties vied in the parliamentary elections of February 1979, but Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) won 207 of the 300 elected seats.
In 1981, Zia was assassinated by dissident elements of the military. Vice President Justice Abdus Sattar was constitutionally sworn in as acting president. He declared a new national emergency and called for elections within 6 months. Sattar was elected president and won. Sattar was ineffective, however, and Army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. H.M. Ershad assumed power in a bloodless coup in March 1982.
Like his predecessors, Ershad dissolved parliament, declared martial law, assumed the position of CMLA, suspended the constitution, and banned political activity. Ershad reaffirmed Bangladesh's moderate, non-aligned foreign government. The new parliament bowed to opposition demands and passed a law March 26 allowing the president to form a caretaker government, Former chief justice Habibur Rahman was asked to head a caretaker government and parliament was dissolved. Election was completed June 23, 1996 with the Awami League garnering the highest number of seats. The leader of the Awami League, Sheikh Hasina Wazed, was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed was elected unopposed to replace Biswas as the next president of Bangladesh.
The latter part of Awami League's tenure was marked by opposition boycott of the parliament and increasingly violent attempts at forcing early elections. However, Awami League completed its five year tenure and became the first government to complete its tenure in Bangladesh. New elections were held on October 1, 2001 under the aegis of a caretaker government as enshrined in the constitution of Bangladesh. These elections were won by a coalition of the BNP and three other parties led by Khaleda Zia. Begum Zia was subsequently sworn in as the Prime Minister. Political stability still appears to be a remote dream, since the Awami League alleges widespread rigging and vote manipulation and stayed away from the parliament. Independent and international observers have however termed the 2001 elections as free and fair.
The end of BNP's five year stint was also marked by a repeat (this time by the AL) of opposition boycott of the parliament and increasingly violent attempts at forcing early elections. There was severe lack of consensus between the government and the opposition regarding the head of the interim caretaker administration. Under Bangladesh's unique system, when an administration comes to the end of its term it hands over to an unelected interim government which has 90 days to organize elections. Violent protests broke out after the opposition objected to the nomination of ex-Chief Justice KM Hasan to head the interim administration as per the constitution. As a member of the BNP in his early days, his nomination was not palatable to them. On Saturday Mr Hasan pulled out just before he was due to be sworn in.
The president urged parties to find a replacement by Sunday afternoon. Mr Iajuddin Ahmed then held separate talks with party leaders, but failed to reach agreement on a compromise candidate. Finally, President Iajuddin Ahmed has been sworn in as head of an interim government after the main political parties failed to agree on a candidate. His decision to take the job without opposition backing is the last constitutional option available.
After increasingly violent clashes between political parties, a new caretaker government was sworn in with the backing of the armed forces. Erstwhile Bangladesh Bank governor Dr. Fakruddin Ahmed was sworn in as the Chief Adviser. He is respected on both sides of the sharp political divide in Bangladesh and is credited with bringing an end to the anarchy that had threatened to sweep the troubled nation. He has also cracked down on rampant corruption by arresting (former) senior government officials including the two former Prime ministers Khaleda Zia and SHeikh Hasina. An emergency has been promulgated and elections put off till 2008 while the caretaker government works towards ensuring a a corruption free.
THE EFFECT POLITICAL INSTABILITY IN BANGLADESH
- Education Sector:
►►Violence also is endemic between the student political wings of the major national parties, and between rival factions within the parties. . In an escalation of political violence, on July 12, gunmen fired automatic guns at a van in Chittagong, killing eight persons, including six members of the ruling party's student wing, the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL). The Government accused the student wing of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami Party of being responsible for the attack. The Prime Minister challenged her supporters and the police to retaliate for the murders of her student supporters, declaring that there should be 10 opposition bodies for each one from the ruling party.
►► The opposition asserts that the attack on the van was a continuation of a shoot-out the previous day between rival factions of the BCL that left three BCL activists dead. Published photographs of an August 20 clash between two factions of the BCL at Kabi Nazrul College in the old section of Dhaka showed a BCL activist wielding a pistol in the presence of a policeman. The ruling Awami League temporarily suspended the operations of its youth front wing in Dhaka.
►► The main opposition BNP suspended activities of the central unit of its student wing, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, following the killing of two persons in a factional dispute at Dhaka University on July 2.
►► On May 25, several young men shot and killed Iftekhar Ahmed Shipu, owner of a cellular telephone shop in Dhaka, after Shipu refused to give them a free telephone. According to press accounts and a subsequent investigation by a human rights organization, a gang led by Sumon, son of an influential local Awami League leader, abducted two young men on September 15 and demanded a ransom of about $1,000 (50,000 Taka), which the parents did not pay.
- Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:
Nasir Uddin Pintu, a leader of the opposition student group Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), alleged that he was tortured in police custody with beatings, sleep deprivation, and dousing with water. He also reported that he was denied proper food and water while in custody from December 1999 to January. One human rights organization reported that, after conducting a field investigation, it had confirmed that on June 13, police officers in Jhenidaha arrested a 12-year-old boy named Belal, hung him nude from a tree, tied a brick to his genitals, and beat him with sticks, allegedly for teasing a beggar. The human rights organization reported that the family was too intimidated to file a criminal report on this incident. Subsequently, one police officer from the nearby Betai Police Camp was suspended temporarily; other policemen from the Camp were transferred.
Rape of female detainees in police or other official custody has been a problem, as the Chief Justice of the Bangladesh Supreme Court acknowledged in a March speech when he observed that rapes and killings in police custody frequently occurred.
3. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile:
The Government continued to arrest and to detain persons arbitrarily, as well as to use national security legislation (the SPA or PSA) to detain citizens without formal charges or specific complaints being filed against them. The Constitution states that each person arrested shall be informed of the grounds for detention, provided access to a lawyer of his choice, brought before a magistrate within 24 hours, and freed unless the magistrate authorizes continued detention. However, the Constitution specifically allows preventive detention, with specified safeguards, outside these requirements. In practice authorities frequently violate these constitutional provisions, even in non-preventive detention cases. In an April 1999 ruling, a two-judge High Court panel criticized the police force for rampant abuse of detention laws and powers.
4. Freedom of Speech and Press:
The Constitution provides for freedom of speech, expression, and the press, subject to "reasonable restrictions" in the interest of security, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency and morality, or to prohibit defamation or incitement to an offense; however, there were numerous examples of the Government limiting these rights in practice. Some government leaders encouraged violence against journalists by ruling party members.
5. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association:
The Constitution provides for freedom of assembly, subject to restrictions in the interest of public order and public health; however, the Government frequently limits this right. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code allows the Government to ban assemblies of more than four persons. According to one human rights organization, the Government imposed Section 144 bans 33 times during the first 9 months of the year. The Government sometimes uses Section 144 to prohibit rallies for security reasons, but many independent observers believe that such explanations usually are a pretext. Supporters of the ruling party frequently will schedule their own rallies for the same venue and time as scheduled opposition rallies and meetings, thus providing the Government a basis for imposing Section 144 for security reasons.
6. Indigenous People:
Tribal people have had a marginal ability to influence decisions concerning the use of their lands. The 1997 Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord has been in effect for 3 years, and has ended 25 years of insurgency in the CHT, although law and order problems continue. Former insurgent leader Jotirindrio Bodhipriya Larma, alias Shantu Larma, has publicly questioned whether the Peace Accord has been implemented properly, and has urged prompt government action to implement all provisions of the Accord. Confusion continues over the overlapping responsibilities of the various central and local government bodies involved in the Hill Tracts. The Land Commission that is to deal with land disputes between tribal and Bengali settlers does not yet function effectively in addressing critical land disputes. Tribal leaders also have expressed disappointment at the lack of progress in providing assistance to tribal that left the area during the insurgency.
7. Garments Sector:
Bangladesh has already been grappling with political instability due to the prevailing confrontational politics in the country. The situation was made worse when the country’s major industry and its main foreign exchange earner Ready Made Garments (RMG) industry got embroiled in labor unrest. The industry owners and political leaders initially tried to sweep the grievances of labor under the carpet by floating various conspiracy theories. But the problem has refused to die down as its roots lie within the industry and in the exploitation of labor.
Unfortunately for Bangladesh, this labor unrest has taken place at a time when the main opposition party is also leading a movement for political reforms in the country. The 14-party opposition alliance led by former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed called a 36-hour shutdown on June 13 and 14 to press home its demands for electoral reforms, resignation of the chief election commissioner (CEC) and two 'politically appointed' election commissioners, and to protest 'police atrocities' on opposition leaders and workers during the Dhaka siege on June 11. The countrywide shutdown disrupted normal life, affecting communications and economic and other activities. Hundreds of people have been injured in clashes between protestors and the law enforcers.
Need For Political instability:
Finally we suggest for developing Bangladesh condition by stabling political situation. We offer some suggestion for effective political instability-
► Success stories of donor-led anti-corruption interventions in education are few and far between.
► However, experience has shown which measures are unlikely to produce results, and one failure has been to implement readymade technocratic solutions ignoring the complex nature of the problem.
►Donors have experienced especially difficult local environments when attempting to bring about public sector reform. Success stories often remain undocumented, but these pages present some interesting positive cases. If you know of any other examples, we urge you to tell U4 (about them so that more people can learn from the experience).
► There are some basic principles that practitioners need to consider before designing anti-corruption interventions in tandem with domestic counterparts.
► Sector-specific interventions have limited effect if they are not embedded in broader, integrated reform efforts involving large parts of the public sector.
It is crucial to have adequate data on the corruption problem in the sector. What are the causes? Where do leakages occur? If detailed information is lacking, diagnostic appraisals must be conducted.
►Political leader should change their attitude to their opposite political leader and general public.
►There should be a combination in both executive and judiciary administration.
►Political leader should not impose any type power on the administration where laws and rule should be equal for all.
►Opposite political party should help the government in positive all steps.
►All Political should work for developing democracy system in Bangladesh.
►In educational institution should be strictly prohibited for non-matured student.
►Opposite political party should not create any obstacles in developing work taken and handling by government.
Increased political activity in the form of political agitation was expected in the run-up to the upcoming elections in Bangladesh given its history of confrontational politics. But the political instability has been made worse by the simultaneous labor unrest in the economic lifeline of Bangladesh that is its garment industry. Initially the government and the industry leaders underestimated the magnitude of the problem and tried to brush it aside by floating various conspiracy theories. But these theories were bound to fail as the problem lied in the exploitation of workers. It is preposterous to blame India for labor unrest in Bangladesh. If the leading industry of Bangladesh collapses it would directly affect India as the economic chaos in its neighborhood will lead to large-scale exodus. This would create a bigger problem for India. Bangladeshi industrialists have been exploiting workers, sometimes to increase their profit margins and sometime to keep their industries competitive in the face of increasing international competition. Thankfully, they have now realized the root cause of the unrest and are trying to deal with it. However, only time will tell whether the deals struck even this time would be implemented.